A majority of 2020, I spent my time in jail-Banning, CA. The looming thought that prison would be my fate. Which I thought was well deserved. Feeling alone and angry, enveloped in self hatred. The hurt I caused others, the years wasted chasing a facade. I did not care what happened to me anymore! I had been given every chance to change and like clockwork I always walked down that same path, the familiar one. On Christmas Day, I almost got in a fight with a guard which would have sealed my fate in the Penitentiary, the other inmates were cheering me on and something came over me, I swallowed my pride and sat down, not caring what they thought of me. Merry Christmas! That night I got on my knees, prayer wasn’t something unfamiliar to me but something I had forgotten. “Why would God answer my prayers?” I didn’t care who saw, I just prayed for forgiveness and one last opportunity to change my life! Please! I am emotional writing this because I was in so much pain in that cell! Once again, a loving God gifted me mercy and there was a shift in my case allowing me to seek treatment. Not just any treatment, they wanted high structure and supervision since I had AWOL’d so many times in past treatments. My mom, who has since passed, got on the phone and called everywhere trying to find the right place that would take me and would comply with the court’s strict stipulations. She gave me a list of a few she thought would work.
At the top of that list was The Last House. I loved the name and I called them and talked to Matt. No need to call anyone else, this place felt right to me. In February 2021, when I came to Last House I was so grateful to have this opportunity and I was ready to do anything! I knew one thing, I was going to graduate! I had too. Coming in with that surrender and commitment was my greatest asset. I put my head down for a while and at about 3 months in, I started seeing the value here, my walls started coming down and my mind started to open. The comfortability of what I knew and felt in control of had always outweighed walking through the fear of what was on the other side of the door, the truth. “Maybe I don’t know shit.” 40 treatment centers and I don’t know shit. If I kept picking apart imperfect systems and imperfect people and using that to justify my anger and resentment I knew surely I would fail again. The same man will drink again. My need for control, selfish pride, grandiosity and playing the puppet master had done nothing but keep me sick and delusional.
This program, along with the steps, gifted me the discernment of truth vs delusion and when I am confused I have people to call on. What a beautiful thing. I have sound peace of mind today and when I don’t I’m not berating myself and burying my emotions like I used to. I feel that shit, I observe them, so I don’t act impulsively on them. I learned I cannot understand something unless I consistently practice it and just intellectually acknowledging a spiritual principle is just that, acknowledging it. I focus on what I can control: myself and how I treat others. What a blessing this has all been. Once I satisfied my sentence I decided to stay here, to work here and be a light for others. I want to give back what was given to me and hopefully impact others how I was impacted. Thank you to my family for all your support, the brotherhood I found in The Last House and thank you Mom for finding this place before you left me. Your final gift to me before death was life.